After the Centre Pompidou Metz, the exhibition “Simple Forms” tours to Japan in a new version embracing Oriental culture.
With its celebration of the moon, its emphasis on primal, minimalist forms and the influence of Zen culture, the exhibition “Simple Forms” shows clear affinities with the art of Japan and its embrace of universal forms down the ages. Thus, the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo hosts a new version of the show for its reopening in April 2015. Directed by Jean de Loisy, president of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, and Nanjo Fumio, director of the Mori Art Museum, the new project features iconic expressions of Japanese culture as well as works by contemporary Japanese artists complete the exhibition of pieces in a broad range of media, celebrating the universality of basic, essential forms.
On this occasion, the gallery lends a Pre-Khmer Lingam.
Lingam in Sanskrit – India’s sacred language – means “sign” or “mark” and, according to Hindu belief, symbolizes the god Shiva in its absolute iconic form. Upright in its potent position, this phallic attribute, pure divine member, immaculate representation is the supreme manifestation of god, “the one wich none can see”. As an icon and cult object, this lingam symbolically represents the Hindu trinity : the square base evokes Brahma, the creator ; the middle octogonal section brings Vishnu the protector, to mind, and at the summit, the phallic form with an engraved line represents Shiva. As the symbol of energy and vitality, Khmer Empire linga is moreover associated with the king-god Angkor. Emblematic of royal power, it expresses the divine essence of the king as well as its consubstantiality with Shiva.